Andy's New Book
How to Memorize Scripture for Life: From One Verse to Entire Books
headphones book envelop spinner search download close plus play arrow-right arrow-left facebook twitter

Mature in Purity from Sin

How high are God's standards for purity?

by Andy Davis on June 04, 2024

"When Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." 1 John 3:2-3  
"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." 2 Corinthians 7:1


Maturing Christians develop a lifestyle pure from sin in sex, speech, relationships, and pleasures. Essential to holiness is purity… freedom from the defilements of sin. If we are to be conformed to Christ, we must purify ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, from anything that contaminates us. There are four key areas of purification that scripture focuses its attention on, and though these four do not exhaust every possible realm of purification, yet they are the most significant. They are: sex, speech, relationships, and pleasures.

Sexual purity is vital to holiness. From the moment that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked. That moment began the battle for sexual purity that has continued to this present day. Any discerning Christian can see how vital this issue is by seeing the overwhelming attack Satan makes on this weak spot. If we were charged with defending a walled fortress during the Middle Ages, and from the top of our defenses we perceived the enemy constantly assaulting one specific spot in the walls, we must conclude that that place is vulnerable and obviously weak. Satan has been attacking souls throughout all of history and he knows very well what he is doing. Consider the internet: about 12% of all websites are pornographic, and 20% of all mobile searches are for such material.

Beyond the internet, we see devastating statistics on fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and all other manners of sexual sin. Satan is relentlessly attacking our souls sexually. God calls Christians to absolute sexual purity, and Jesus says our commitment to sexual purity should be to the level of cutting off our right hands and gouging out our right eyes if they lead us to sin in this area. He clearly warns us about hell in direct connection with sexual sin (Matthew 5:30). God’s standards are sexual abstinence except within the context of monogamous heterosexual marriage. And Jesus extends it to our thought life, for all sin originates in the mind.

"If we are to be conformed to Christ, we must purify ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, from anything that contaminates us."

Next, we must purify our speech. James says, “If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man” (James 3:2). He says the tongue is a “restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). The ways we can sin with our speech are many: lies, gossip, slander, complaining, arguing, blasphemy, false doctrine, boasting, etc. God calls on us to reign in the tongue. Helpless, we should pray, “Set a guard over the door of my mouth, O Lord” (Psalm 141:3)! Since “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34), we must begin by purifying our thoughts (as we just said concerning sexual purity). If we tend to complain, we must kill that sin in the mind with a heart of trust and thankfulness to God.

Third, we must seek holiness in our relationships by purifying them of bitterness, rage, anger, pride, and unforgiveness. These defiling sins destroy marriages, end friendships, ruin families and churches alike. The call to forgive those who have sinned against us is consistent and clear. So also is the command to get rid of all bitterness… deep-seated malice against others. To have a heart free from these pollutions is to walk light and free in this world, and humble too, because it is based on how much God has forgiven us.

Finally, God calls us to be pure in lawful pleasures…to not allow anything that he permits to gain idolatrous mastery over us. This includes food, drink, entertainments, hobbies, possessions, music, sports, movies, games, etc. We are surrounded by a myriad of blessings in this prosperous and comfortable age. It’s easy to become addicted to those blessings without even knowing it. A simple test is to fast from them occasionally. Paul said, “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). To be mastered by a lawful pleasure is idolatry. God calls us to a self-controlled life which we live for the kingdom of God and not for temporal pleasures.

Tags: salvation, sanctification